I returned from Vermont with Diane after a wonderful trip to attend the Guild's Meeting. Jennifer Hoag of Northeast Fiber Arts Center gave our workshop. If you want to see much better pictures and a synopsis of our trip skip over to Diane's blog. She did a great job.
We had a wonderful time and returned safely. We went for a walk and picked several different leaves and a few berries. I put the berries and flowers into the freezer and let the leaves sit over the week.
Yesterday I started 5 pots for dyeing.
One to soak silk in alum.
One to soak silk in tin (pot).
One to simmer wrapped sticks and a wrapped iron pipe (courtesy of Diane's Dad, Dean).
One to soak rhododendrons in water.
And One refurbished indigo vat.
This vat was the same I used in February. It had sat in the basement, undisturbed for 6 months. I checked the pH which was 10 and when I added more indigo crystals and thiox it's smell was definitely of fermentation.
Results...oh, yes, the results.
This was a piece of brown silk I dyed that would wash out with felting leaving a pale beige. Even if the brown washes out now (which it didn't with soap and hot water in the indigo final rinse) I'm sure it will be a lovely blue.
The wrapped pieces came out of the dye pot and sat on the deck to cool.
The pipe wrapping gave this wonderful grey and orange piece.
Sumac buds gave me this lovely pink. Next it needs to be light and wash tested....but I'm letting it cure right now. Sumac leaves make lovely marks, too. I have hopes for sumac...it grows wild and in abundance here.
Onion skins with St John's wort, daylilies and sumac leaves gave me this. The actual color is really more orange than peach.
While the Rhododendron leaves have simmered for about 3 hours. The liquid has been divided in half and part placed in a tin pot and the other with the alum and tannin soaked silks. These were simmered for a while and now are left to cool overnight.
Tomorrow is the Brit Jam...a motorcycle show and we plan on riding most of the day through Southern Connecticut. I won't be able to rinse my silks until later Sunday evening.